Google: “Don’t Be Evil, Unless We Can Make Money”

Google is working with authoritarian China to build a censored version of its search engine, completely sh*tting on its old motto “Don’t Be Evil.” With dollar signs in its eyes, Google (and Apple mind you) can’t resist the siren call of dystopia:

The project – code-named Dragonfly – has been underway since spring of last year, and accelerated following a December 2017 meeting between Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai and a top Chinese government official, according to internal Google documents and people familiar with the plans.

The planned move represents a dramatic shift in Google’s policy on China and will mark the first time in almost a decade that the internet giant has operated its search engine in the country.

Check It Out: Google: “Don’t Be Evil, Unless We Can Make Money”

5 thoughts on “Google: “Don’t Be Evil, Unless We Can Make Money”

  • I should add to my comment above; the withholding of business engagement has had no effect on moving the social needle in China, particularly when nearly all of those same goods and services, albeit of a possibly lower quality, are available in-country.

    This observation, now almost universally acknowledged, argues against continued non-engagement, even if at the outset, the cost of a seat at the table is to play by house rules.

    Change is ever present, but often imperceptible, until the inflexion point.

  • Andrew:

    You are correct that this an about-face for Google with respect to its search engine in China. I wouldn’t be so quick to call them out on it, however.

    China is a complex social experiment underway, whose outcome is uncertain and contingent upon the variables introduced into that system. I don’t know if you’ve had the opportunity to spend time there, but there is a clash of aspiration and rising expectations between Communist Party leadership and the people, specifically the educated and upwardly mobile classes which is unmistakable and palpable. The Party and the people are both engaged a ‘long game’ resolution to those conflicting objectives and interests.

    One of the most potent but uncertain variables you can introduce into that system are values, which not only further alters the people’s expectations, but the rules of the game itself, and the longer it goes, potentially the more it favours playing by those altered rules.

    Outside engagement, with the introduction of new values, is subversive. Every new entrant adds to a shifting balance of power. And both parties know this.

    From this vantage point, one might say to Google, ‘Welcome to the revolution. Play long and prosper’.

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